AmphibiaWeb - Rhombophryne testudo


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Rhombophryne testudo Boettger, 1880
family: Microhylidae
subfamily: Cophylinae
genus: Rhombophryne

© 2022 Jörn Köhler (1 of 3)

  hear call (241.2K MP3 file)

  hear Fonozoo call

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Up to 45 mm, M 33-39 mm. Tympanum distinct, greater than eye size. Eyes small. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches the tympanum. Finger 2 slightly longer than finger 4. Short barbels on the lower lip. Skin of the back with convergent longitudinal rows of tubercles. Dorsum red brown to blackish. Ventral surface less pigmented. Calling males with a very large vocal sac (Glaw and Vences 2007).

Similar species: R. coudreaui has no barbels on the lower lip (Glaw and Vences 2007).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Occurs in Sambava-Andapa, Nosy Be, Nosy Komba (Glaw and Vences 2007) from sea level up to 300m asl (Nussbaum et. al 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: Largely fossorial, only during heavy rain on the forest floor. Inhabits burrows under leaf litter in primary and secondary forest. Highest calling intensity just before and during heavy rain (day and night). Excavated juveniles and adults can show a defence position with stretched hindlimbs and concave dorsum. Two adults together with 18 juveniles of 9-11 mm were found under a big stone in a burrow in December, indicating parental care (Glaw and Vences 2007).

Calls: Single notes of low frequency, resembling the mooing of a cow (Glaw and Vences 2007).

Trends and Threats
This species is listed as vulnerable because it is only known from two localities (Nussbaum et. al 2008). Though it occurs in a protected area, the R�serve Naturelle Int�grale de Lokobe, its forest habitat is receding because of subsistence agriculture (including livestock grazing), timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, fire, and expanding human settlements (Nussbaum et. al 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing

Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007) and Nussbaum et. al (2008).


Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.

Nussbaum, R., Raxworthy, C., Andreone, F., Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2008). Rhombophryne testudo. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 14 April 2009.

Originally submitted by: Miguel Vences and Frank Glaw (first posted 2001-10-26)
Edited by: Catherine Aguilar (2010-07-19)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Rhombophryne testudo <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 18, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Apr 2024.

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